Good health is one of the best bounties that Allaah bestows on mankind and also one of His best rewards. lnfact, good health is the best earthly bounty of all. The Rasul (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"He who reaches the morning while health is in his body, safe in his residence and having his day's sustenance, will be as if the entire life of this world was granted to him." (Tirmidhi)
For most people, however, they hardly appreciate this bounty until they are deprived of it. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Two bounties regarding which many people take for granted (are): health and free time." (Bukhari)
This period of fasting, when we pay more attention to what and how we eat, presents a good time to fashion a firm framework to preserve our health. The following are some of the basic issues to take care of in this regard:
Eat what is halaal & Avoid eating haram
Whatever of food Allaah and His Messenger (salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) has made halal is pure and beneficial for the body and conversely, whatever they have forbidden is impure and harmful to the body. Allaah says:
"Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad SAW) whom they find written with them in the Taurat ... he allows them as lawful At-Taiyibat (i.e. all good and lawful e.g. foods) and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khaba'ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards foods, etc.).... it is they who will be successful." (Q7[A'raf]: 157)
Eating that which is halaal is not a reason for becoming a glutton! For many people, the time of iftar (breaking of fast) is rollback time. They simply make up for the breakfast and lunch they have missed due to the fast. Eating too much affects the health and makes one lazy. Allaah tells us:
"and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not AI-Musrifun (those who waste by extravagance)." (Q7[Al-A'raf]:31)
Vary your meals
Within the limit of your means, vary the types of food you eat. Do not eat just one type. Inspite of his straightened circumstances it is on record that the Prophet (salallahu aayhi wa sallam) used to vary his food. His regular diet would vary from meat, fruits, bread, dates, milk and honey etc. (Bukhari)
If you don't like, then don't eat it
Don't get too anxious about food, if don't like a particular food, simply avoid it! When the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) does not like a food, he would simply refrain from eating it and would not force himself to have it. Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) never found fault with food. If he had inclination to eating it, he would eat; and if he disliked it, he would leave it. (Bukhari)
This is a great aspect of preserving the .health. When one eats what he does not have an appetite for, the food's harm will outweigh its benefits.
Don't be too adventurous in your diet
Be careful not to be too adventurous in your diet; Ramadan is the worse time to run stool or experience discomfort in your bowel. The Prophet (salallahu aayhi wa sallam) used to stick to a regular diet. When he was offered a type of food that he was not used to eating, he would refrain from eating it.
Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated: "I and Khalid ibn Walid went to the apartment of Maymunah along with Allaah's Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), and there was presented to him a roasted lizard. Allaah's Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) stretched his hand towards it, whereupon some of the women who had been in the house of Maymunah said: Inform Allaah's Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) what he intends to eat.
Allaah's Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) lifted his hand. I said: 'Messenger of Allaah, is it forbidden?' He said: No. It is not found in the land of my people, and I feel that I have no liking for it. Khalid said: I then chewed and ate it, while Allaah's Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) was looking (at me). (Muslim)
Do not eat while leaning on your side
The Messenger of Allaah (salalahu alayhi wa sailam) said:
"I do not eat reclining (against a pillow)." (Bukhari).
Leaning on the side harms the stomach because it prevents the food from going the proper channel and reaching the stomach quickly as it pressures the stomach and does not allow it to open properly for the food to pass through. Remember also that eating in this posture is a practice of the arrogant ones.
Avoid sleeping just after meal
This makes you lazy and weak for beneficial activities. Eating lightly and doing some light activities just after meal (such as some nawafil) aids quick digestion and gives the body agility.
Drink only in sitting posture except for zamzam water
Infact the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) specifically forbade his Ummah not to drink while standing. He even commanded one who does so to vomit Such drink taken while standing. Allaah's Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
None of you should drink while standing; and If anyone forgets, he must vomit." (Muslim)
Muslim medical researchers added that drinking while standing breeds many ailments and does not quench the thirst, nor will the water settle in the stomach so that the liver transfers it to the rest of the body.
Drink in short gulps and take in breadth between each gulp.
The Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to breathe three times in the course ofa drink (he used to drink in three gulps). (Bukhari) This method of drinking is very beneficial for quenching the thirst. It is better suited for the temperature of the stomach, so as not to suddenly invade it with cold substances. Also, when one takes the drink in one breath, he might choke on it.
Make Hijrah from bad habits
Check your bad habits, this month is the easiest time to do so! If you could do without cigarette from the daybreak to the time of breaking the fast, then you are capable of doing without it altogether. Same for your alcohol habit. Remember also that you are committing sin with each puff of cigarette smoke and each sip of intoxicants.
Pray to maintain your health
Strive to maintain these healthy habits beyond Ramadan. Also, do not forget to pray to Allaah to grant you health and wellbeing. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to pray thus at the end of every prayer
"O Allaah, give me well-being in my body. O Allaah, give me well-being in my hearing, O Allaah, give me well-being in my seeing." (Abu Dawud)
And AbuBakr (RA), his first khalifah used to advise:
"Ask Allaah for certainty and good health, for indeed, no one will have a better possession after certainty of Faith than good health." (Ahmad)
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited